NEGenWeb Project
Resource Center-
On Line Library


Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

Horizontal Bar

page 212

in Dutchess county, New York. He first saw Nebraska in 1861, on his way to Pike's Peak, Colorado, where he stayed until 1863, then returned to this state, settling on a ranch on the south side of the Platte river, fifty miles west of Fort Kearney, and here he started a general store and hotel, also dealing in cattle and horses. The California trail was lined with wagons on their way across the plains to Denver, Salt Lake, Montana, Oregon, Mexico and every point throughout the western states, and for weeks and months the trail would be covered with cattle, horses and wagons. He remained on this homestead until 1867, then went to Cheyenne, as was caused much annoyance by the travelers continually passing his home here. In 1861 a band of Indians who were roving over the country entered his yards and drove off nineteen head of horses and mules, and at Plum Creek, fifteen miles east of his ranch during the same year Indians attacked a party of travelers, including six covered wagons, families on their way west, and out of this little band of people all were murdered excepting one woman, who was made captive by the redskins. He lived in Wyoming for three years, and in 1871 came back to Nebraska, locating in Harlan county on the Turkey creek. Mullally township was named after our subject, and Harlan county was named after Tom Harlan, who came to Nebraska from Cheyenne in company with Mr. Mullally. While he lived on Platte Ranch at Willow Island he came to what is now Harlan county on a hunting expedition. The country was overrun by game - wild turkey, buffalo, deer, elk, antelope, etc. - and was the best hunting field in all western Nebraska, owing to the fact that there was plenty of wild grass and water, and small timber. When he went to Cheyenne he naturally told of the fine hunting grounds and fertility of soil to be found in the Republican Valley (then so called), and in 1870 he with a number of others organized a party and the following year they came down to Turkey creek in this county. There were seventeen men in the party, named as follows: Bill Carr, now of Alma; Tom Sheffery, Harlan county; Tom Harlan, now residing in Michigan: Mark Coad and John Coad, who had lived here prior to this, and had built a dugout; Tom Murrin, deceased; Alex Burk, deceased; Charles Sydenham, a brother of Mose Sydenham; Dick McDonahue, Mike Morrissey, Jim Ryder and others, and besides these a party drove overland with teams and wagons. Mr. Mullally remained here and homesteaded on three hundred and twenty acres situated on Turkey creek and lived on his farm until March, 1905, engaged in farming and raising cattle and horses and other stock. When he sold out his holdings he had seventeen hundred and twenty acres of land in one block, for which he received thirty-one thousand dollars. He made a success of his farming and stock raising, and he is now one of the leading citizens of his locality.

    In 1857 Mr. Mullally was married to Miss Maggie Murphy, a native of Dubuque, Iowa. They have a family of six children, as follows: Thomas, a farmer living in Turkey township; Joseph, a farmer of Mullally township; Kate, wife of James Laird, of Mullally township; Lizzie, now Mrs. August Heffer, residing in Friend, Nebraska; Maggie, located in San Francisco, California, and Mary, married to Arch Palmer, of Los Angeles, California. Mr. and Mrs. Palmer narrowly escaped the earthquake which worked such destruction in San Francisco in 1906. They left the city at three o'clock in the morning, bound for a short trip on the water, and the quake occurred at five a.m., and undoubtedly they would have lost their lives had they been at home, as at the place where they were living over one hundred people were killed.

    Mr. Mullally and his family are members of the Catholic church. Politically he is a Democrat. He takes commendable interest in party politics, but does not seek public preferment. Mullally township is a strictly Democratic settlement, never having a Republican officeholder. At one time there were only three men who voted the Republican ticket in the whole township.



    Arthur N. Case, of Brown county, has by dint of general industry, reliable character and straightforward business methods, built up for himself a name and a standing second to no man in this part of Nebraska. He is still in the full maturity of his powers, and commands a host of friends wherever he is known. His word is his bond, and both as an agriculturist and a carpenter and builder he is pushing and aggressive in his efforts to reap the best results and render the largest and most satisfactory returns for all thought and money invested in his time and labor.

    Mr. Case belongs to an old American family long established in the state of New York, where he was born on a farm in 1854. He was the second born in a family of three chil-

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

Horizontal Bar

page 213

dren, and was reared and educated in his native community. As he grew into manhood he was set to learn the carpenter trade, which he thoroughly mastered under his father's watchful eye and careful instruction. In 1875 he came west. and for a period of years devoted himself to his trade in Lapeer county, Michigan. There he was married in 1881 to Miss Adath Westover, a native of Canada, who come with her parents into the county in 1875. To this happy union have come two children, Leona and George, both of whom were born in Michigan.

    Mr. and Mrs. Case removed to Brown county, Nebraska, in 1887, where he at first engaged in farming on a pre-emption claim some eight miles from Ainsworth. Here he constructed a sod house, which was unusually well built, and though primitive in its material was really very comfortable, and is now remembered pleasantly by the family. It was indeed a return to nature, as coyotes could be heard close at hand every night, and for a time game of all kinds was abundant. After the passing of six years the rapid growth of Butte seemed to present an exceptional opportunity for the skill and labor of the carpenter, which Mr. Case was quick to see, and accordingly he transferred himself and interests to Boyd county in 1891, For four years he followed his trade, with Butte City as a center, and had much to do with the construction of many homes and business buildings during that period. In 1895 he worked as a carpenter for some four months in Arkansas, and then made a home in the Ozark mountains in Missouri where he lived about three and a half years. In 1899 he returned to Ainsworth, and here put up for himself an attractive residence and a large shop for the steady pursuit of his occupation as a builder and contractor. He soon had a large and growing patronage, and as he attended to it faithfully and well it is in every way creditable and satisfactory. Later they moved to the Moon Lake region. Mr. Case is a member of the fraternal order of the Modern Woodmen of America.



    Among the old settlers who have watched the growth and development of western Nebraska from the early pioneer days, who has always taken an active part in its history from the very beginning and helped to advance its commercial and agricultural industries, the gentleman above named holds a foremost place. Mr. Dale resides in Rushville, where he is engaged in the banking business.

    Mr. Dale is a native of Bellefont, Pennsylvania, born in 1859, on his father's farm. He was raised in his native state, assisting his parents until he was seventeen years of age, spending five years at the Pennsylvania State College, from which he graduated in the classical course. He also took a special course in civil engineering, and for three years worked in this capacity for the Pennsylvania Railroad on construction work. He afterwards followed land surveying for one year. In 1886 he came to Sheridan county, landing here in June, and soon after settling entered into partnership with M. P. Musser and J. K. Wohlford in the banking business, establishing the Citizens' Bank. He remained with this concern up to 1897, then disposed of his interest in the bank and opened up the Stockmen's Bank, incorporating this institution in September, 1898. He has been cashier of the bank from its organization, with A. M. Modisett as president and H. A. Dawson as vice-president. In 1906 the bank erected a fine home building covering a space 25x56 feet, two stories and basement, built of granite and cement, fitted in the most modern style. This bank will be converted into a national bank about July 1, 1908.

    Mr. Dale has the management of the intricate affairs of the bank of which he is cashier, and is a gentleman of ability and excellent business foresight. He has succeeded in building up an immense business and gained the confidence of his fellow-men through his strict honesty and integrity.

    In 1885 Mr. Dale was married to Miss Lillian E. Satterfield, of old American stock, whose parents were early settlers in Pennsylvania. Five children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Dale, who are named as follows: Helen M., George S., Edwin E., Horace Albert and James Leland, all born in Rushville, In political sentiment Mr. Dale is a Republican.



    W. J. Crusen, residing in North Platte, Nebraska, was passenger engineer on No. 9 and 10, fast mail train between North Platte and Sidney, which makes a run of one hundred and twenty-three miles in one hundred and seventeen minutes. Mr. Crusen came here in 1880 and ever since that time has been connected with the Union Pacific Railroad. He is well known all through this locality as a man of

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

Horizontal Bar

page 214

sterling character and integrity, and is prominent in all local affairs.

    Mr. Crusen was born in Licking county, Ohio. His father, Thomas Crusen, settled at Terre Haute, Indiana, with his family in 1861. There were thirteen children, of whom only three are now living. Our subject began working on the railroad prior to 1861, and in that year enlisted in the Twelfth Ohio Regiment, Company E, recruited from Newark, Ohio, and served with this company for three years and three months. He took part in the battle of Antietam, where he saw late President McKinley, who was then a sergeant, serving hot coffee to the firing line in which the former was a private. Mr. Crusen was also at Winchester, South Mountain and all the battles through that section. In Tennessee he received a shot in the leg, and as soon as he was able to walk, ran an engine out of Nashville, Tennessee. His train was derailed and he was taken prisoner by the bushwackers, the McNary's gang, who ordered him to blow up the engine, and when he let the steam off at the valve the natives were so badly frightened that they ran away and left him. Soon after a relief train arrived from the Union lines, and assisted him in getting away with his charge. After the close of the war he went back to railway service, and has since traveled all over every state in the union in his work, never having had an accident. He is a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, a prominent Mason, also Grand Army of the Republic man, well known in these different organizations. Mr. Crusen is now retired by the Union Pacific Railroad and is pensioned by that company. This makes it possible to attend more to religious work and he often fills out for different pastors in their pulpit work. Mr. Crusen is also proprietor of a fine farm of one hundred and fifty acres located near the city of North Platte, on which he makes a specialty of vegetables of all kinds and all his spare time is devoted to overseeing the work on this farm.

    Mr. Crusen was married in 1868 to Miss Elizabeth McCandless, of Philadelphia. They have one child, now Mrs. York Hinman, of North Platte, and a sketch of Mr. W. M. Hinman appears in this volume, One brother, James, resides with Mr. Crusen and his wife in their pleasant home here.

    Mr. Crusen is deeply interested in religious matters, is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and a licensed preacher in the same. In 1896 he was a delegate from Nebraska to the general conference of the church at Cleveland, Ohio. He has attended international Y. M. C. A. conventions at Topeka, Kansas; Buffalo, New York; Detroit, Michigan; also has attended all state conventions in Nebraska. The Y. M. C. A. of North Platte was organized by Mr. Crusen and Mr. Nash, the state secretary.



    James J. Gragg, who has a valuable estate, is one of the foremost residents of Hooker county, Nebraska, and has for the past fifteen years taken an active part in the political and social affairs of that locality, known far and near for his active public spirit and liberal views on every matter of importance to his community.

    Mr. Gragg is a native of Oakland county, Michigan, born in 1870. His father, James T., was born at the same place, and later came to Nebraska, and was an early settler in Redwillow county. The mother, who was Miss Amy Carey, was also born in the same county in Michigan as her husband and they lived there up to 1881, engaged in farming. The family first settled in Redwillow county after arriving in Nebraska, and lived in that vicinity for about thirteen years, and our subject was raised in the county, attending the country schools as a boy, and at the same time assisting his parents in carrying on the home ranch, in this manner acquiring a thorough knowledge of the ranching business, remaining at home until he was twenty-one years of age.

    Mr. Gragg came to Hooker county and located on his present ranch, which he took as a homestead, in the spring of 1895. This is situated in section 22, township 21, range 35. He started on a very small scale, his sole capital being a few dollars in money, one cow and a calf, and to make matters worse the calf died. Now he has a finely improved ranch. The Methodist Episcopal church is located on his ranch a short distance from his residence. Prior to settling in this locality he had experienced some very hard times in Redwillow county, losing six hundred and forty acres of crops in 1894, so after coming here he determined to devote his entire efforts to the stock raising business and not try to farm. He gathered together a few head of cattle at first, and from the start had very good success. He put up good buildings as he was able, improved his ranch, cultivating about one hundred and fifty acres, on which he raises good crops, and besides raising stock and farming he owns a good threshing outfit and was one of the first to operate an outfit in this region.

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

Horizontal Bar

page 215

He has done well in this venture, and in following the work has become widely known throughout the entire country.

    Mr. Gragg was married in 1893 to Dollie A., daughter of Joseph Downs, one of the earliest settlers in Redwillow county. They are the parents of four children, who are named as follows: Jessie R., Sylvia M., Amy A. and Vira J. The family is highly esteemed in the community as worthy citizens and good neighbors, and they have a comfortable and happy home.

    Mr. Gragg has taken an active part in local affairs, serving as county commissioner for six years and also as county assessor for one term and precinct assessor for two terms. In political sentiment he is a Republican.



    To the early settlers of Box Butte county, Nebraska, the name of Ira Reed is well known. He has been a resident of this section for the past twenty years and is one of the prosperous business men of Alliance, having been engaged for many years past in the horse business and is considered an authority in all matters pertaining to that business.

    Mr. Reed was born in Northumberland county, Pennsylvania, in 1859. His father, Amos Reed, was a farmer, of Pennsylvania Dutch blood, as was also his mother, and both died in that state. When our subject was twelve years old his mother died, and the father died in 1889. He was raised and educated there, and at the age of fifteen years began on his own account, renting his father's farm, which he carried on for three years. At that time he left Pennsylvania and came west, locating at Boone, Iowa, there engaging in the flour and feed business. He remained one year, then came to Nebraska, settling in the town of Superior, and opened a meat market, which he ran for three years. In 1887 he moved to Box Butte county, locating in Alliance but taking up a pre-emption and timber claim situated thirty miles from the town, on the Niobrara river. When he came here he drove from Superior, camping out on the trip, and as soon as he reached his destination started to build a house, which was 16x24 feet, made of sod. He lived on the farm for four years, building up a good home and ranch, then moved to Hemingford and again started in the meat business, which he ran for three years, and also ran a livery barn for the same length of time. He did a good business and got along in good shape, but decided to go back to the ranching business, so settled on a farm sixteen miles northwest of Alliance and lived on that place for six years. During these years he was engaged in the horse business on a large scale, shipping a large number in and out of the state each year, and he handled some of the finest animals ever brought to this section. He has been most successful in his various ventures, and accumulated a nice property, all of which is due to his own efforts, as he had nothing to start with. He was one of the early settlers in Chadron, and helped develop that town in many ways. In 1907 he established his present business, dealing in real estate and insurance, and his knowledge of this part of the country, land values, etc., will enable him to build up a large business.

    Mr. Reed is a Populist in political sentiment, and has always taken an active part in politics, attending numerous county and state conventions. He was elected sheriff in the fall of 1901, and re-elected the following term. This necessitated moving his family to Alliance, where they have lived since with the exception of the year 1906, which he spent in the gold mines in South Dakota.

    Mr. Reed was married in 1879 to Miss Lizzie Savage, daughter of Henry and Anna Savage, of Northumberland county, Pennsylvania. Mrs. Reed died in 1884, leaving him with two children, Clayton C. and Della M. In 1889 he was married again to Miss Sarah C. Dailey and he had two children by this marriage, namely: Ray E. and Elmer L.



    The gentleman whose name heads this review is a native of Iowa, being born in Calhoun county in 1867. His father, Benjamin Harvey, whose biography appears elsewhere in this work, is one among Loup county's earliest pioneers. The mother's maiden name was Mary E. Ham.

    Benjamin W. Harvey was reared on a farm on the frontier in Nebraska and was with his father during the pioneer days when he learned to perform all the varied forms of farm work. He assisted his father in improving the home farm, driving ox teams and making many trips for supplies for the family to St. Paul and North Loup. In July, 1890, he went to Custer county, taking a homestead, on which he lived a bachelor's life for eight years. He underwent many hardships, was far from neighbors and had to haul water for all purposes for a period of five years.

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

Horizontal Bar

page 216

    In 1898 our subject was united in marriage to Miss Ella Daman, who died in 1901, leaving two children - Wayne and Claris. In 1904 Mr. Harvey was married to Miss Angie Thompson, daughter of Pembroke S. Thompson, a farmer and old settler of Loup county. Her mother died in 1905.

    Mr. Harvey and family lived on the Custer county homestead until 1904, busily engaged in improving and making it a valuable property. He then proved up and sold out, and in 1905 he purchased the farm where he now lives in section 12, township 21, range 17, it being the old homestead of his father-in-law, Pembroke S. Thompson, in Loup county, a splendid place of four hundred and eighty acres, in a good crop region of the country. He has about two hundred acres under cultivation, the balance being pasture and hay land. There are nice improvements, house, barns, three wells and windmills, and the east farm in thoroughly fenced with cedar posts that were gotten out during the pioneer days of Loup county. Mr. Harvey is especially proud of his fine grove of forest trees and the orchard. Our subject has accomplished a great deal on his farm in the few years he has lived there and it has taken a vast amount of labor and expense to bring it about. He has taken a leading part in the affairs of the community and has witnessed with pleasure the splendid growth of the country in the past twenty years. Mr. Harvey is a progressive citizen and has the respect of his associates and friends.



    Everette L. Baumgardner, one of the prominent business men of Perkins county, is engaged in the real estate business with offices in Grant, and is well-known throughout the county as a man of exceptional ability and straightforward principles.

    Mr. Baumgardner was born in Page county, Iowa, in 1871. He first opened his eyes in an (sic) humble log cabin on a farm. His father was an early settler in Iowa, and later a pioneer in Perkins county, homesteading here in 1886. Our subject lived at home until he was twenty-two years of age, helping him develop a good farm and build up a good home, going through all the pioneer experiences familiar to the old residents of western Nebraska, when there were no wells and people were obliged to haul water many miles, and he well remembers when he had to drive thirty-two miles for drinking water. During those years Mr. Baumgardner built twenty-two sod houses in the county for settlers who came in. In 1887 he began railroad construction work, helping build the C. B. & Q. Railway through Perkins county, and was overseer of a gang of men for a few miles of the work. In 1893 he started farming on his own account, for a few years living in the Sandy Valley, southeast of the town of Grant, and there was engaged in farming and ranching, raising principally hogs and cattle. He continued on that ranch up to 1898, then worked as a live stock shipper, buying and selling hogs and cattle. Later was employed as a shipping clerk at Marshalltown, Iowa, and for two years traveled on the road as a salesman. He next entered the ministry and followed that for some time, becoming a successful preacher and evangelist, but finally throat trouble compelled him to give up this work. After this he traveled all through the states west of the Mississippi river except Texas, and saw every phase of life and the different countries, but found no region where the opportunities were better or inducements greater to the poor man or small investor than this part of Nebraska. There is no better climate anywhere considering all things, and they here also have the best water on earth, getting the proper rainfall during the crop-growing seasons, and he further states: "That there is no country where a man can grow a horse successfully without feeding a kernel of grain, excepting Nebraska, which is done here, and horses weighing one thousand five hundred to one thousand eight hundred pounds matured in the way are plentiful throughout the state." Mr. Baumgardner is of the opinion that the day is not far distant when this region will be eagerly sought after as a health resort by the wealthy, as it has the finest summer climate to be found on account of the cool nights in summer, and mild winter weather, making this part of Nebraska a very enjoyable region.

    In the fall of 1893 Mr. Baumgardner was married to Miss Ethel Clark, daughter of John W. Clark, a prominent pioneer of this region. One child was born to them, Nellie May, now thirteen years of age. The family have (sic) a very pleasant home, and enjoy a host of friends.

    Mr. Baumgardner well remembers the last herd of buffalo that was seen in this part of the country, and witnessed their extermination. He has been largely instrumental in the development of this part of the country and in its financial and agricultural progress. He is a self-made man in every sense of the word, becoming thoroughly well read and a fluent conversationalist by his own efforts, as he received only a very scanty schooling when a lad, and is now known as one of the leading men of his county, enjoying the esteem and confidence of his fellowmen and associates.

Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska

Horizontal Bar

page 217


   The above named gentleman is well known to the residents of Rock county, Nebraska, as the genial and popular postmaster at Bassett, Mr. Stockwell was first appointed to this position in June, 1894, served for one term, and was again appointed on January 3, 1905, taking charge the 7th of February of that year. He is one of the leading public men of the county, and a citizen of true worth, highly esteemed by all with whom he comes on contact.

    Mr. Stockwell is a native of Vermont, born near Brattleboro, August 28, 1865. His father, Francis Stockwell, was a farmer and old settler in western Nebraska, coming here in 1879 with his wife, who was Miss Harriet E. Hale, and family of seven children, of whom our subject is the fourth. They settled three miles north of Long Pine, and there he grew to manhood, going through all the pioneer experiences with his parents and brothers and sisters. During the winter of 1880 and 1881 the father made five trips to distant railroad points for supplies, at times traveling over a hundred miles and return. Our subject was one of those who organized the first school here, and his sister taught the first term. At the age of eighteen years Mr. Stockwell began the study of pharmacy in Long Pine and Valentine and in 1886 became a registered pharmacist, going into business at Bassett the following year. He later took up chemistry, and is now a member of the American Chemical Society, serving two terms as vice-president of the Nebraska section of this society, in which he is considered an expert. His drug store in Bassett was the pioneer store of its kind here and he has continued to do a large business during the years he has been located here.

    In 1886, after leaving school, Mr. Stockwell was married to Miss Mina Tweed, daughter of William Tweed, an old settler in this part of Nebraska. He is a member of the Methodist church and of the Ancient Order of the United Workmen of Bassett.



   Eric A. Wiklund is one of the self-made and prosperous pioneer farmers of Kimball county, Nebraska, where he settled in March, 1888. He is a native of Sweden, his birth occurring July 15, 1849. Coming to America in June, 1882, he sailed from Goettenberg to Hull, and thence by rail to Liverpool, where he embarked on the "Alaska," and after a voyage of seven days landed in New York on the 27th.

   He first went to Osage City, Osage county, Kansas, but thinking to better himself, he turned back to Chicago, where he found work in a foundry and later was similarly employed in Batavia and Aurora, remaining in the state of Illinois until March, 1884, when he came to Nebraska. He took a homestead in October, 1887, and bought a relinquishment on a tree claim a year later on the south half of section 4, township 16, range 53, which is now the home farm. He has a splendid home and a well equipped and up-to-date farm. He runs a bunch of cattle and horses. All the buildings on the place are of his own construction. He has a blacksmith and wagon shop, and builds his own conveyances. A buggy of his construction has not needed a resetting of the tires in twenty-three years. December 19, 1875, occurred the marriage of Eric A. Wiklund to Miss Anna Elizabeth Kling, a native of Sweden, who came to America a year after her husband, and by a coincidence on the same vessel, the "Alaska." Their parents are all dead. Mr. Wiklund is a stanch Republican and votes with his party. He is active in local affairs and is a public-spirited citizen. He was reared in the Swedish Lutheran church.



   The gentleman whose name heads this personal history was probably one of the best known and best loved of the residents of Cherry county, Nebraska. He had resided in this region since 1883, and was one of the first settlers here, watching the growth and aiding in the development of the commercial industries of his community from its earliest beginning. He was familiarly known all over this part of the country as "Arkansas Bob," and was admired and respected by every one who knew him for his sterling qualities of heart and mind. His death occurred at his home in Gillaspie precinct, June 19, 1906, and his cortege was probably one of the largest ever assembled in this part of Cherry county. If any man in the county was without an enemy it was "Arkansas Bob.' His disposition was most affectionate, also his love for children and the tenderness for his wife and mother. Even in his affliction of total blindness his cheerfulness did not desert and during his stay in the hospital he kept them laughing all the time with his jokes.

Horizontal Bar

Prior page


Name index

Next page

© 2001 NEGenWeb Project Resource Center, Marilyn J. Estrada, T&C Miller